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Arkansas Races

Senate Outlook for 2008

Can Democrats Take Advantage of the Turf?

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Arkansas

Outlook: Solid Democratic


May 28, 2008 Update:

The ballot is set and there will be no GOP challenger for Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor. The Green Party has thrown a candidate into the race in attorney Rebekah Kennedy. Kennedy was the Green candidate for Attorney General in 2006, and received just over 4 percent of the vote. As if she didn’t face enough of an uphill climb as a third-party candidate against a popular incumbent, Kennedy is $3.7 million behind Pryor in cash on hand. Pryor will coast into an easy second term.

March 3, 2008 Update:

Want to know what the cat-bird’s seat feels like? Ask junior Senator and Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor. The election is only 8 months away, and Pryor has yet to draw a serious challenge from either party. While early thinking was that former Governor Mike Huckabee would get shellacked in the Republican presidential race, and then return to Arkansas to challenge Pryor, Huckabee has enjoyed quite a bit of national success. As a result, it seems highly unlikely we’ll see Huckabee enter this race, making things all the easier for Pryor’s reelection. With as much ammo as Pryor has been able to stockpile up until now, he should be able to protect his Senate seat just fine come November.


Background

Junior Senator Mark Pryor should be able to keep the Democratic stranglehold on statewide office in 2008. In the land that once was Clinton’s, Pryor is enjoying a 63% favorability rating at the tail end of his first term. Numbers like those, and no announced challengers from either party, make 2008 look like easy sledding for Pryor.

Even if he should be challenged, Pryor’s emphasis on constituent service and moderate positions will win him tons of votes. He’s been outspoken in calling for the resignation of Alberto Gonzales after Gonzales fired the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, then bypassed Senate confirmation for his replacement. Pryor has also announced his endorsement of former Arkansas first-lady, Senator Hillary Clinton for president.

The most likely challenger for Pryor might be Republican ex-Governor Mike Huckabee. Huckabee, currently running for the Republican presidential nod, trails Pryor 49-42 in recent polls.

Candidates

Mark Pryor (I) – Democrat – current Senator
Website

Rebekah Kennedy – Independent – Green Party candidate and attorney
Website